Exhibition Dates: January 29 - March 24, 2016

GreenHill presents, It’s All About the Hue, an exhibition with four artists who explore color and gesture in works that utilize variations of hue to ravish the eye. Whether through building up transparent layers or creating saturated zones of pigment, these artists investigate the evocative power of color in works that include still life paintings, textile compositions, wall reliefs and abstract cartographies. Participating artists include Donald Martiny, Carolyn Nelson, Margie Stewart and James Williams.

Color and gesture take center stage in Donald Martiny’s larger than life-size paintings in which the artist draws on the history of Minimalism and color field painting to generate new ideas developed over a decade. Working on the floor, Martiny uses polymers and dispersed pigments to model sculptural reliefs in the form of brushstrokes taken from studies that often measure between six and nine feet in height and rise several inches off the wall when hung.  Martiny captures intense hues in these works that have the effect of activating their surroundings, “honoring the tradition of art making as process,” says Larry Wheeler, Director, North Carolina Museum of Art.  For Martiny, color is a way of life: “I believe experiencing color can positively influence our health, our behavior, and can in fact spiritually nourish our entire being.” Martiny has studied at the School of Visual Arts, The Art Students League, New York University and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. This will be the first time Mr. Martiny’s work is seen at GreenHill.

Carolyn Nelson states she uses “color as atmosphere” in her intimate textile works.  Nelson’s work often appears to capture the energy of place—fields, marshes, deserts, clouds, oceans.  She describes her latest pieces as “unobstructed vistas [in which] repetitive marks made by stitching over the entire surface of each piece, often several layers of stitches, create an overall web of color and texture.” Nelson’s works figure in major corporate collections and elicit associations with color field painting as much as with traditional fiber art. Throughout her career in the arts, Nelson has worked as a design instructor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina State University, a graphic designer and an artist doll maker.  Nelson recently retired from her position as Director of Design at Elon University and now works full-time as an artist.

Margie Stewart utilizes a quick and vibrant brushstroke, often only revealing objects as fragments or impressions in her stunning still life paintings.  Drawing influences from artists as diverse as Cezanne, Sean Scully and Morandi, Stewart uses light and color to capture the essence of her subjects. For Stewart, “Color in itself is so complex—hue, value, saturation and temperature—along with proportion and relationship provide such a rich visual language…intuition is always a driving force.” In the new work presented at GreenHill the artist has challenged herself to create works on a larger scale with the same expressive essence and visual intelligence as her smaller works.  Stewart earned her Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Master of Product Design, Visuals Concentration from the College of Design at North Carolina State University.  She is a recipient of the Durham Arts Council Emerging Artists Grant and was a resident at the Vermont Studio Center. 

James Williams’ most recent series of paintings feature a signature gestural line and playful colors.  Williams describes his work as “densely layered color field, large-scale abstract paintings that are built up through layers of acrylic paint, graphite, ink and tape on canvas.”  Cartography (the practice of drawing maps) and architecture are his main sources of inspiration.  His vibrant pink, orange and blue planes break up space on his canvases while his spontaneous dark lines evoke a sense of energy and excitement. Williams currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina and is an Associate Professor at Guilford Technical Community College. He received his Master in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and his Bachelor of Arts from Ferrum College in Virginia. 


Artist Talks 

Carolyn Nelson & Margie Stewart

Wednesday, February 17, 2016 from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Carolyn Nelson and Margie Stewart will each discuss the role of color in their work in back-to-back 20 minute presentations followed by questions.


Donald Martiny & James Williams

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 from 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Donald Martiny and James Williams will each discuss the role of color in their work in back-to-back 20 minute presentations followed by questions. 


In the News

'It's All About the Hue' exhibit explores use of color, Fayetteville Observer


Additional Resources

To view our press release, click HERE.

To check out more artwork in this exhibition, click HERE to view our Flickr album.